Physics Fun with Jamie: Setting Up a Topology Study in SOLIDWORKS FEA

Article by Jamie Hill, CSWE updated June 19, 2023


Welcome back to “Physics Fun with Jamie”. A topology study in SOLIDWORKS FEA is a powerful tool for optimizing the design of a part or assembly by determining the most efficient use of materials. It helps designers to explore different design possibilities and find the most optimal solution. Here are some steps to follow when setting up a topology study in SOLIDWORKS FEA.

  1. Create the model: Start by creating the 3D model of the part or assembly you want to optimize. This can be done in SOLIDWORKS or imported from other CAD software.
  2. Define the study: Define the topology study by specifying the objective, constraints, and optimization options. The objective can be to minimize weight, material cost, or maximum stress, among others. Constraints can include minimum and maximum stiffness or deflection limits.
  3. Assign the material: Assign the appropriate material to the model. The material properties should be defined accurately to ensure accurate results.
  4. Generate the mesh: Generate the mesh for the model. A finer mesh is needed for more accurate results.
  5. Run the study: Run the topology study and review the results. SOLIDWORKS FEA provides graphical representations of the results, including stress and deformation plots.
  6. Evaluate the results: Evaluate the results by comparing the optimized design with the original design. Check if the optimized design meets the design objectives and constraints.
  7. Refine the model: Refine the model by adjusting the constraints or objectives and re-run the study.
  8. Finalize the design: Finalize the optimized design and prepare the model for manufacturing.

In conclusion, setting up a topology study in SOLIDWORKS FEA can help you to optimize your design and achieve the best possible solution. By following these steps, you can ensure that your design meets the desired performance objectives and constraints, while minimizing material usage and cost.

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Jamie Hill, CSWE

Jamie is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert working in the Javelin Oakville, Ontario, Canada office.